The Difference between a Film and a Movie

It took me a long time to be able to articulate how I view a film versus a movie.  It’s actually pretty simple when it comes down to it.  And like anything simple, sometimes it’s harder to communicate to others.

Film = literature
Movie = magazine

Fairly simple concept, right?  So let me break it on down for you now.

Film is something that lives on past what it immediately is.  CITIZEN KANE is literature.  A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS is literature.  LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, STAR WARS, SCHINDLER’S LIST, THE FOUNTAIN, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD – just to name a few- I consider to all be literature.  They entertain, make you think and live beyond that moment of when you’re simply watching it.  Like a really great book, it can sit on your “shelf” for years and is something that you’ll always refer back to.

Movie = entertaining and that’s all.  Just like your People magazine or your Cosmopolitan or your Hollywood Movie magazine available at most movie theatres.  They make you giggle, possibly give you a quick insight into something about people/the world, but then it’s talking about it briefly at work the next day (or week).

There’s lots of great movies out there.  I’ve spent a lot of hours being entertained by film.  And by television.  Yes.  Even television can be divided up into the literature / magazine format.  LOST = literature.  THE WORLD ACCORDING TO JIM = uh … The National Enquirer (utterly disposable *evil grin*).

Now film = literature can definitely entertain.  It doesn’t have to be all drama.  JOE vs. THE VOLCANO is easily one of my favourite films and it’s not only highly entertaining, but it’s definitely literature.  FIELD OF DREAMS is literature.  While a lot of filmwork can have layers, no matter how superficial the subject matter, not every piece of filmwork can cross that divide for me.

I totally do recognize that this is subjective – and that I possibly just split my infinitive.  Because there are apparantly people out there who think JOE vs. THE VOLCANO is one of the worst pieces of work ever made.  Which makes me wonder how often they hit their head when they were younger.

And of course by anyone’s criteria I’m pretty sure that any Uwe Boll concoction will never be mistaken for literature.


About Brandon Williford

Dad. Writer. Creator of things. I sound like I should be fun.

Posted on February 22, 2010, in Commentaries, Film Commentaries, Humour, T.V. Commentaries. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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